Senor Feesh

Divine Breath, Drab God.

37 posts in this topic

Guys, I feel like I'm close to something here, but I need help.

Brandon answered the question Can a Lifeless Return? By saying you'd get a drab god. I'm almost positive we can tease out some meaning here on the nature of Divine Breath, but I can't quite put it together.

Let's first assume that Breath and the Soul are related. I don't recall now if this is confirmed or just common theory, but we generally accept that a normal Breath is in some way either a detachable chunk of soul, or a little extra on top that only Nalthians have.

A lifeless has no soul, but one Breath to power them, though this Breath is not their own.

A Drab has a soul, but no Breath. Almost perfect opposites.

A normal Nalthian has a soul and one Breath.

A Returned has one Super-breath. Do they have a soul too? Does the super-breath replace the soul, or attach to it? Does it sit separately from the soul? If so, why do Returned die without one?

If a lifeless were to return, would THEY regain their soul? If the super breath sits apart from where the soul normally resides, then Returned must have a soul, or there would be no difference between the two. But if the super breath somehow enriches the soul of a Returned, might that account for the difference when a lifeless returns? As they have 'just' a super breath and no soul.

Questions! So many questions... But I'm sure there's something here. What do you all think?

 

Edit: Had some more thoughts on this. I think I may have come at this from the wrong direction. Rather than normal Nalthians having something extra, it might be better to think of Drabs as having below the baseline level of Investiture for Nalthis (one soul + one breath, compared with one soul). By the same token then, a drab god must have below the baseline Investiture for a god (one soul plus one superbreath, compared with one superbreath).

 

So, this would logically mean that Returned do indeed retain a soul (yay!). I also still hold that the superbreath must normally attach to, or enhance the soul, otherwise a Returned would become a Drab instead of dying when they use their divine breath.

 

It might also imply that the soul is considerably more powerful than a normal breath, and a superbreath is similarly more powerful than a soul. I reach this conclusion by positing that a human - a breath = drab (that is, someone missing a relatively small chunk of Investiture), whilst a god without a soul = a drab god (a god missing a - relatively - small chunk of Investiture). So Superbreath > Soul > Breath. I freely admit this is very loose speculation.

 

This does make me wonder then, if I'm right and the soul and superbreath combine in a Returned, what happens to the soul when they use their Superbreath to heal someone? Is it separated from the breath and released to the afterlife, or lost forever?

 

Also, feel free to tell me why my reasoning is obviously wrong :P

Edited by Senor Feesh
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple more notes: when Lightsong gives up his Breath, he becomes completely white.  When Blushweaver dies, she remains colorful.

 

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/library/113/Warbreaker-Chapter-Fifty-Eight

In the midst of the rubble were a pair of corpses. One was Blushweaver, bloody and red, facedown. The other was Lightsong, his entire body drained of color. As if he were a Lifeless.

 

And, while Vasher doesn't have all the facts, it seems that every living thing has some biochroma

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/library/101/warbreaker-Chapter-Forty-Six

“Well, I think we should start with theory,” he said. “There are four kinds of BioChromatic entities. The first, and most spectacular, are the Returned. They’re called gods here in Hallandren, but I’d rather call them Spontaneous Sentient BioChromatic Manifestations in a Deceased Host. What is odd about them is that they’re the only naturally occurring BioChromatic entity, which is theoretically the explanation for why they can’t use or bestow their BioChromatic Investiture. Of course, the fact is that every living being is born with a certain BioChromatic Investiture. This could also explain why Type Ones retain sentience.”

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always interpreted the Blushweaver issue to be that she was covered in red blood.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always interpreted the Blushweaver issue to be that she was covered in red blood.

Yeah but the blood would've lost its color as well.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's always best to include the full quote and link, Senor.  <_<

 

Link

ReaderAt2046: What would happen if, right after someone died, they were made into a Lifeless, and then Endowment tried to Return that person?


Brandon: Oooh...now that's a spicy one. Endowment's gift of a superpowered Breath would come down, strike the Lifeless, and all kinds of craziness would occur. You'd end up with a drab god, which would be hilarious.

 

Carry on.  B)

Edited by Kurkistan
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the Blushweaver remaining colorful thing.  Correct me if I am misremembering this, I haven't read Warbreaker in quite a while, but wasn't she killed?  I thought the color-draining only happened if Returned "gave-up" their divine breath, she didn't so why would her color be drained?

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree Weiry. That's definitely the reason she retained her color, in my opinion.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A normal drab is only slightly less colorful - it's hard to notice to the untrained eye.  A Returned drab, on the other hand, is completely colorless.

 

Something's weird with that.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a Cosmere-specific term you use to describe, say, a Shard’s power inside someone? For example, people on Scadrial had little bits of Preservation in them that made them sentient (and, with enough Preservation, Allomancy). This obviously doesn’t make these people Slivers or Splinters, so I was just wondering if you had a word for it.

BRANDON SANDERSON

In my own terms, I refer to all of this as types of investiture. The degree, and effects, can be very different—but those people are invested. I term this Innate Investiture, and it is similar to what happens with people on Nalthis. That is also innate. Source

Quote

http://www.brandonsa...apter-Forty-Six

“Well, I think we should start with theory,” he said. “There are four kinds of BioChromatic entities. The first, and most spectacular, are the Returned... Of course, the fact is that every living being is born with a certain BioChromatic Investiture. This could also explain why Type Ones retain sentience."

First quote. People on Nalthis have a piece of Endowment inside of them that gives them access to her Power. 

Second quote. "Biochromatic Investiture" is inside every living being on Nalthis. We know breath gives you access to Awakening, and without it you don't have Biochroma, so it follows that Breath = Innate Investiture. I have heard a lot of people try to say that Breath is NOT investiture, but given these quotes I find that unlikely. So Breath is a piece of Endowment and forms a part of the Soul of each person born on Nalthis. 

Drabs as having below the baseline level of Investiture for Nalthis (one soul + one breath, compared with one soul)."

This is exactly how I think of it as well.

 

When someone dies, I assume the Breath goes back to Endowment. She then either Returns a different Divine Breath, or puts more investiture into the original Breath and sends it back as a Splinter. Then you get (Dead Body + Divine Breath). 

 

If someone takes that dead body and turns it into a Lifeless you have (Dead Body + Breath - color). Endowment Returns the Divine Breath and you get (Dead Body + Breath + Divine Breath - color). So the Drab God would have an extra breath, but his body would be drained of color. Other than being Albino I think he would function exactly the same as other Returned, but could live for two weeks instead of just one before dying. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First quote. People on Nalthis have a piece of Endowment inside of them that gives them access to her Power. 

Second quote. "Biochromatic Investiture" is inside every living being on Nalthis. We know breath gives you access to Awakening, and without it you don't have Biochroma, so it follows that Breath = Innate Investiture. I have heard a lot of people try to say that Breath is NOT investiture, but given these quotes I find that unlikely. So Breath is a piece of Endowment and forms a part of the Soul of each person born on Nalthis. 

 

As the most vocal representative of "a lot of people", I would like to note that I have no problem with Breath being "from" Endowment in the same way that the spark of sentience in Scadrians is "from" Preservation. Despite this, I would argue that it is intrinsically part of who they are, not some grafted-on extra bit that makes every "normal" Nalthian an ubermensch. Breath, then, is just a small portion of the normal power of someone's normal soul, which soul, in its entirety, is "of Endowment" in a real, but not entirely direct sense.

Edited by Kurkistan
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the most vocal representative of "a lot of people", I would like to note that I have no problem with Breath being "from" Endowment in the same way that the spark of sentience in Scadrians is "from" Preservation. Despite this, I would argue that it is intrinsically part of who they are, not some grafted-on extra bit that makes every "normal" Nalthian an ubermensch. Breath, then, is just a small portion of the normal power of someone's normal soul, which soul, in its entirety, is "of Endowment" in a real, but not entirety direct sense.

 

Not sure if it's obvious from my initial post, but this is also the conclusion I came to.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if it's obvious from my initial post, but this is also the conclusion I came to.

 

Oops, sorry; to admit a grave sin, I haven't read the whole thread yet. I posted my snooty "post the original quote" just before going to bed, then skimmed and saw Windrunner's point first thing after booting up my computer. I tagged the thread as a whole as "read in a leisurely manner later", but I suppose I suffered from that since I was posting before reading it in its entirety. :(

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lightsong ends up colorless because color was required to heal Suse and taken from Lightsong. Blushweaver was simply killed.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which implies then that the endowment of the divine breath uses the Returned's own colour as fuel for the process, similar to how creating a lifeless draws the colour from the body being used. I wonder if this means a lifeless who Returned would be unable to bestow their Divine Breath to heal someone...

Am I correct also in that a Drab can't normally Return? Can't recall for sure but I seem to remember reading it somewhere. If I'm right, then it means that having some Investiture beyond the soul is required to Return, but oddly having a soul isn't a requirement, because Lifeless don't have souls (I think).

I am curious now as to how this pans out... A Lifeless is as undetectable to life-sense as a Drab, so what exactly does life-sense pick up on? The only thing I can think here is that there's a minimum level of Investiture needed for life-sense to work, so both drabs and lifeless fall below this threshold.

Previously I thought that life-sense worked by detecting the removable part of Breath that people had, but that doesn't follow, as a lifeless had that singular Breath. Unless they count as Invested objects... But that's just weird.

Edited by Senor Feesh
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Big difference between a living drab and a lifeless.  

 

Personally, I don't see how a lifeless returned could be possible.  It seems pretty clear that Endowment gives the people that return a choice and a reason to do so.  I can't remember there being any fixed time limit for the choice, but you would think that it would have been made before the time it takes to make a lifeless.  Clod was not a lifeless returned.  He was a person that died, returned, died again, and then was made lifeless.  That probably accounts for him being more "sentient" than others we have seen.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's enough time to buy or sell the body, at least

 

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/annotation/378/warbreaker-Chapter-Four-Part-2

 

I�d like someday to do a sequel to Warbreaker, in part because I want to show off all of the different ways people in Nalthis deal with the Returned. They�re treated in very strange ways some places. For instance, just across the mountains there�s a kingdom where when someone dies in a way that might be heroic, the corpse is immediately purchased by a nobleman hoping to hit the jackpot and get a Returned. You see, since Returned can heal people, keeping one around to act as an emergency insurance plan to restore your health is a great idea.

 

Incidentally, the earlier comparison of returned to vampires always makes me wonder if you could steal their divine breath via an awakened wooden stake to the heart.

Edited by Phantom Monstrosity
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incidentally, the earlier comparison of returned to vampires always makes me wonder if you could steal their divine breath via an awakened wooden stake to the heart.

I don't know about a wooden stake but an Atium spike would work for sure! :D

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, noob butting in a bit.  Given that a drab god is theroetically possible, (because the author said so) does that imply something about the creation of Lifeless?  Could you draw out the process of dying enough that someone might begin the Lifeless transformation while you were still barely alive?  There is just the one command but it is fairly long as commands go time runs different on the other side of death.  Might a dead person, who can see the future becasue they are dead, see a need to return specifically as a Drab God? 

 

Which begs the question, what would a Drab God be good for?  the Point of gods, as I understand it, is that they saw something that would happen that they could not allow to happen.  So the sent themselves back and then at the proper time the get inklings or even a complusion to fix whatever it is and head back to heaven or whatever it is called.

 

. . . wait a sec.  A drab God wouldn't be drab for long, the priests would just feed it an extra breath, wouldn't they?  But would that help really, the Returned have one superbreath that pushes them up to 5th awakening, I don't remember how many normal breaths that is but it's quite a few . . .

 

Ooh I can picture a kind of Mayan or Incan Expy culture where any new Returned might be fed to The Starving God.  After each meal the god can do one miracle and then eat a breath a day until a new returned comes along, Or he can hold onto the superbreath and slowly digest it over a few months or years.  Of course if he left it too long then it wouldn't be a very powerful miracle.  I kind fo like the idea . . . But I have no idea if it fits with the mechanics of Breath.  We just don't know enough.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would guess that a Returned given a second Divine Breath by another Returned would still consume it within a week, exactly the same way as their own Divine Breath doesn't sustain them for any extended period.

A Divine Breath is still a single Breath, just an incredibly powerful one.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A drab God...it's an interesting turn of phrase. Let's look at definitions here.

 

Drab - someone who does not have their Biochromatic breath, in essence missing a piece of their soul.

 

God - someone who is heavily invested. I'd say the God King fits this definition as well as the Returned.

 

The only way for those terms to describe the same human is if the Divine Breath is just totally different from a regular one. There's lots of evidence pointing to that already. Becoming a drab doesn't kill you. These two kinds of Breath just work differently.

 

So, I think I'm going to agree with the OP - the Divine Breath normally fuses with a complete soul, so that when the Divine Breath is used, the soul is released from the body. If a Lifeless were made into a Returned, the soul would returning to a body already inhabited by a piece of a soul. I assume that breath would be pushed out. And the drab God would be...um. Hmm. I'm losing track of my theory here.

 

Claim: A drab God is a Divine Breath fused with an incomplete soul. Actually, I'm not sure why this would be any different with a lifeless. Seems like this would happen if a drab was Returned as well. Unless it's typically that person's own Breath which animates the body? I don't remember. Hmmm.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drabs can't be returned.

Zas678

Can a Drab Return?

Brandon Sanderson

A Drab can not Return as the Returned are known, and there are things about the Drab that are not completely understood. But a Drab without a Breath, it’s going to be very hard. Drabs do not Return. Good question, by the way. No one has ever asked me that before.

Edited by Phantom Monstrosity
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drab God was a term Brandon came up with on the fly when posed with a situation he had seemingly never considered before. Interpret with a grain of salt.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the act of crossing back over magnifies or multiplies the size of whatever breath they have?  So then they get one super breath.  But zero times zero is still zero.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lifeless still have Breath, though.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But do they? Or is it entirely locked up in just making their body run properly?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.